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Author Topic: EP426: Flash Fiction Special  (Read 1358 times)
Talia
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« on: December 13, 2013, 08:09:05 AM »

EP426: Flash Fiction Special

Four Tickets, by Leslianne Wilder
Life Sentence, by Ben Hallert
The Future Is Set, by C. L. Perria

Read by Nathan Lee, Angela Lee & Norm Sherman

Feeling adventurous enough to read all of the contest submissions? Have at it!

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
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Thunderscreech
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2013, 10:42:11 AM »

Woo-hoo!  I'm published!  Wooooo!

Thanks guys!  It's HalleRt not Hallet, btw, but what's a letter or two among friends?  Wink  My current project is http://timetravelreference.com/, an iOS app meant to help you in the off-chance you find yourself hurled into the past and need to know how to survive and prosper.  Think of it as Biff's Sports Almanac plus technology and stock picks, I figured if there was ever any time when I could mention this self-serving little bit of whatjamajiggery, it would be now.

Thank you, eytanz, for organizing and running the contest, and thanks everyone who read and voted!  There were a lot of stories and the whole thing was possible because so many got involved. 
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Cutter McKay
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 11:56:10 AM »

So excited to finally get to hear these. Of all three contests we had in the last year, the winners of this contest are my favorite. I love all three of these stories, but especially Four Tickets. The instant I read that story for the first time in round one of the EP contest, I said to my friend, "This is the one. This is going to win this contest." And, happily, I was right. Such a fantastically written and incredibly moving piece. Well done.
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Varda
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 12:04:00 PM »

Great stories! I didn't follow the original contest, but am very impressed with the results. I especially enjoyed "Four Tickets", both the story and the narration. Angela was an excellent choice to read that one!
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Kaa
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 12:38:47 PM »

I liked all three stories. Well done, authors!

Oh, I would like to add: For "Life Sentence," as soon as I realized what it was about, I thought, "Ooooh, it's every life, isn't it?" That gave it just that bit more oomph for me.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 12:41:13 PM by Kaa » Logged

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Devoted135
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 11:36:51 PM »

Hooray! Congrats once again to all of the winners!

I really liked each of these stories, each so clever and wonderfully done in their own right. Smiley
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SonofSpermcube
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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2013, 12:11:20 AM »

My attention kind of wandered during the 3rd story, think I'll go back for a second pass. 

I liked the second story.  The premise makes the epic seem miniscule and intimate, but it still manages to make sense, and even has a punch line.  It gives enough detail that you get the general idea and can fill in the rest, and does so in flash length. 
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Max e^{i pi}
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 05:36:32 AM »

I have nothing to add here that wasn't said during the contest. These were all excellent stories and I'm glad that they won.
I just want to say that the audio version of these was even better than reading them on the forums. The pairing of reader-story was well done, and each of the three readers did a great job.
I just need to know, was Angela's nasal tone on purpose (because it went very well with the story) or was she just congested, like most of the northern hemisphere?
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matweller
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 09:10:27 AM »

We wanted to make it the best recording for you possible, but the only thing she's allergic to are elephants, so we kidnapped some elephants from the nearest zoo (about 200 miles away) and drove them to her house through several roadblocks and a low speed chase. The flatbed called ahead, and she was able to wait on the curb as it rolled up and before it even stopped, she jumped on and under the tarp and inhaled enough elephant to set off her histamines just as the police surrounded--guns drawn--and hauled the elephant-napper to jail.

We're happy with the result.


…but we may need to ask for a couple more new subscriptions this month.
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 12:06:55 PM »

We wanted to make it the best recording for you possible, but the only thing she's allergic to are elephants, so we kidnapped some elephants from the nearest zoo (about 200 miles away) and drove them to her house through several roadblocks and a low speed chase. The flatbed called ahead, and she was able to wait on the curb as it rolled up and before it even stopped, she jumped on and under the tarp and inhaled enough elephant to set off her histamines just as the police surrounded--guns drawn--and hauled the elephant-napper to jail.

We're happy with the result.


…but we may need to ask for a couple more new subscriptions this month.

In the future you might want to consider mailing her a bag of elephant dandruff--might be more cost effective.  Smiley
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Sir Postsalot
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 12:12:27 PM »

It's been so long I don't really remember what I wrote about these in the contest, going back to steal those:

Four Tickets
Liked it, not too much else to say.
--Hearing it again:  good emotion, kind of a Shirley Jackson's The Lottery feel.

Life Sentence
It took me about half the story to get my bearings, but I really enjoyed it.  It will probably get my vote.
--This one didn't grab me as much this time.  Maybe because I knew where it was going?  And because I didn't really understand why this fate was supposed to be so terrible.  Is it because your brain wouldn't be able to cope with all those varied memories?  Is it because it considered humans mundane and dull and didn't want to be bored to death?  I'm not really sure.  Because, honestly, it sounds kind of cool to be able to get a civilization's experience, though not if it were involuntary of course.

The Future is Set
I liked this one a lot.  Good stuff, using precognition to do villainous acts in the greater good.
--Reading ita gain, The Future is Set was my favorite, all the apparently villainous acts coming together and making sense, and only the one other person realizing it.
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albionmoonlight
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 01:06:24 PM »

Great job by all authors and all readers.  Love the flash winners.

And it is kind of cool to think that some intergalactic space criminal is behind my eyeballs, being tortured by my existence:

"Oh no, he's going to watch Ghostbusters II again?!  What the hell?  Why!?  And why does he insist on singing along with the theme song every time?  Sob."
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Scattercat
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« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 02:17:29 PM »

Why would you not watch Ghostbusters II again?  I mean, sure, it wasn't as awesome as the original, but for a sequel it's practically solid gold.  (The only series I can think of that went up in quality in the sequels is Toy Story.)
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albionmoonlight
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« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 03:56:05 PM »

I'm with you, Scattercat.  I'll defend that movie all day and all night.  I just get certain quizzical looks from friends when I express that opinion.  I kind of always thought of it as a bad movie that I love.  Maybe, though, I'm not alone.

(Still don't see it as the film of choice for intergalactic space criminals trapped behind my eyeballs).
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Devoted135
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« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 06:45:10 PM »

We wanted to make it the best recording for you possible, but the only thing she's allergic to are elephants, so we kidnapped some elephants from the nearest zoo (about 200 miles away) and drove them to her house through several roadblocks and a low speed chase. The flatbed called ahead, and she was able to wait on the curb as it rolled up and before it even stopped, she jumped on and under the tarp and inhaled enough elephant to set off her histamines just as the police surrounded--guns drawn--and hauled the elephant-napper to jail.

We're happy with the result.


…but we may need to ask for a couple more new subscriptions this month.

So it's your fault I got stuck on I-85! Smelliest traffic jam ever... Roll Eyes
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Swamp
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« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2013, 11:34:22 PM »

The forums did great job of choosing these winners!  My enjoyed each of these stories immensely.  But I would have to admit that "The Future Is Set" is my favorite.

(The only series I can think of that went up in quality in the sequels is Toy Story.)

Excellent example of each sequel improving in quality and meaning than its predecessor

If we just look at one of the sequels, I'd include:
Aliens
Spider-Man 2
Men In Black 3 (better than the first two combined)
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Kahn
And of course The Empire Strikes Back (though it doesn't stand by itself very well)
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matweller
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« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2013, 11:55:29 PM »

And don't forget Terminator 2. People forget there even was a movie before that. Same with Young Guns 2 (sorry, I'm a sucker for the Billy the Kid legend and the "…best $1.80 I ever spent!" line alone was worth the price of admission).

And there are so many sequels that either seemed like improvements at the time but didn't stand up -- looking at you, Die Hard 2. And plenty that seemed lesser or lateral at best when they released, but have somehow taken more special places in our hearts that the originals as time has passed -- I'd put Aliens in that category, or any movie where the premise was so weak that just not having to state it in the sequels made it better <<any teen movie with a sequel here>>.
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The Hard Knight
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« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2013, 01:40:12 AM »

The Future is Set

I have never posted before but I gotta get on here and say that this Flash fiction episode was excellent.   My favorite of the bunch was "The Future is Set".  I had always envisioned that a way to unite the entire world was to make an enemy so vile that there was no choice but for everyone to come together.  Yes a very simple concept which Mr. Perria ran with (as fast and short as flash fiction would take him).  In that short amount of time you go from a general amusement of the protagonist, to thinking why can't he just predict a scenario that has him living at the end, to a final realization that of all these Superheroes he is the greatest as he has sacrificed everything with the knowledge that only one person would ever realize it. Its easier to be the hero whether its real life or fiction when everyone "knows" your goal, you were sacrificing for the greater good.  The real question is how many of us would make the sacrifice if that sacrifice (your legacy) would forever be remembered as evil.  It makes me wonder how many people throughout history are truly Villains or just the "face" the country needed to see inorder to progress.... hmmmmm
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daikaisho
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« Reply #18 on: December 18, 2013, 03:01:29 AM »

I just need to know, was Angela's nasal tone on purpose (because it went very well with the story) or was she just congested, like most of the northern hemisphere?

Yes.

Anyway, I know I'm just a reader here but thanks for the comments. This was my first time reading a story for this podcast (or any podcast) and I gotta say it was kind of fun! Y'all have created a monster...
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Varda
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« Reply #19 on: December 18, 2013, 07:58:35 AM »

I just need to know, was Angela's nasal tone on purpose (because it went very well with the story) or was she just congested, like most of the northern hemisphere?

Yes.

Anyway, I know I'm just a reader here but thanks for the comments. This was my first time reading a story for this podcast (or any podcast) and I gotta say it was kind of fun! Y'all have created a monster...

I for one would LOVE to hear Angela read again in the future. And not just because it would mean Escape Pod would have to hire a full-time elephant.
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